August 8, 2017 Photos by: Willee Cole/Bigstock
Are you leaving something “behind” when you’re grooming your dog? Don’t forget to clean your dog’s tail pocket – no ifs, ands, or butts about it!
When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, you probably understand the importance of a healthy diet and regular veterinary checkups. You may also make an effort to keep your dog’s ears clean and might even give him the occasional bath, when he needs it. But one thing that many dog owners overlook – or do not even know to look for – is something called a tail pocket. Keep reading to learn what a tail pocket is, which dogs have them, and how to keep them clean and healthy.
What is a Tail Pocket?
A tail pocket is not a special purse that you hang from your dog’s tail – it is a small indented area located on his backside under the tail. Tail pockets are very common in Bulldogs, though not all Bulldogs have them. When they are very young, it can be hard to tell whether a Bulldog has a tail pocket or not, so you’ll need to check once in awhile so you can begin caring for it if one develops.
Not all dogs have tail pockets. Some of the breeds that do include English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and some Pugs. Dogs can develop a buildup of dirt and grime in the tail pocket and, if it isn’t properly cleaned, that can lead to inflammation, irritation, and infection. In the early stages, you may notice the development of dry, flaky skin around the area that may then lead to inflammation and infection.
How Do You Clean a Dog’s Tail Pocket?
If your dog has a tail pocket, you need to clean it on a regular basis. The frequency with which the tail pocket needs to be cleaned will vary from one dog to another, so make a habit of checking at least once a week until you get a feel for how often you need to clean it. Cleaning your dog’s tail pocket is easy, but it can feel a little strange at first. Here is how you do it:
- Use a dampened paper towel or a baby wipe to clean in and around the tail pocket.
- Remove all visible signs of dirt and grime from the area as gently as you can.
- Use a clean cloth or fresh paper towel to carefully but thoroughly dry the area.
- Apply a small amount of diaper cream to the tip of your finger and spread a thin layer in and around the tail pocket to protect it.
- Add a little bit of baby powder to the area to help keep it dry until the next cleaning.
Keeping your dog’s tail pocket clean and dry is just another aspect of maintaining your dog’s total body health and wellness. If you aren’t sure how to go about cleaning your dog’s tail pocket, just ask a professional groomer or your veterinarian. It is easy to do but very important, so don’t overlook this simple task if you have a Bulldog or another breed with a tail pocket!
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.